If the basketball season came quick for you, I can assure that you are not alone. I really appreciated Bartt & Matt’s help getting the player previews up ahead of the exhibition tonight, where the Iowa Hawkeyes take on Slippery Rock. Slippery Rock’s nickname is “The Rock” which really confuses me in terms of how to structure the name/nickname.
Anyways, Kennington Smith brought some detes on The Rock, a team playing their first ball since March of 2020. They’re similarly young and small, as one might expect a Division II team to be. The Hawkeyes should be able to assert themselves, as huge favorites. With Pat McCaffery, Keegan Murray, and Filip Rebraca at 6’9”, 6’8”, & 6’9” across the frontline, the Hawks should have the advantage there, even if it evaporates as teams get more mainstream and the frontline gets more 7-footy.
Three quick questions
- Does Murray look the part? As mentioned in the player previews, he’s the guy for Iowa as a preseason all-conference player. There’s no sense rewriting too much of today’s column but if he’s on his way to a leap, tonight could provide some validation to that.
- Where else will the scoring come from? With Jordan Bohannon and Filip Rebraca as double digit scorers, those two will factor in very heavily to Iowa’s offensive strategy. I’ll be particularly interested to see if we see Rebraca man the middle as a slighter Luka Garza or operate more as a stretch 4/5 alongside Keegan. Both have an ability to serve as primary screeners should Iowa run a ton of pick and roll with Joe Toussaint at point. Is he able to take advantage of his quickness and convert plenty of bunnies at the rim? Further, does Iowa really lean into the transition game to get Pat and Keegan cooking? From a bench perspective, we know Connor McCaffery will factor in heavily but does that mean as a scorer or do Payton Sandfort or Kris Murray slide into those roles?
- Who backs up Rebraca? While Iowa has plenty of guards and wings, they are surprisingly light inside with two players in Josh Ogundele and Riley Mulvey as guys who figure to play a part down low. Yet both have plenty of seasoning for different reasons and may see their roles fluctuate based on matchups. In Smith’s preview, he mentions Kris Murray as a potential option as well. It’s a role his brother, Keegan, played when Jack Nunge went down and if Kris can carve out a similar tonight and into the future it’ll make the Hawkeyes athletic, if a little thin, down low.
Opponent: Slippery Rock - The Rock (Slippery Rock, PA // Division II - PSAC)
Game time: 7:00 PM CDT // Friday, November 6, 2021
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, IA
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Go Hawks, and play nice in the comments!